estimating amount per a ball

ffarff's picture

im making up a design and i need to know if i have enough materials for it before i start.
is there any way you can figure out how many balls you need?

I recently bought 4 balls of wool at a sale. i don't know whether to get more or not before they run out!

Comments

mrossnyc's picture

I use my kitchen scale all

I use my kitchen scale all the time when figuring out how much yarn I need, how much I have left, etc. I find that it's more consistent than knitting a swatch, ripping it out and then measuring the length of yarn used. The reason is that some yarns stretch more than others, and after a fiber has been knitted, it won't always lay flat.

Another plus about weighing a swatch is that you can weigh your needles ahead of time and subtract it from the weight of the swatch while it's still on the needles. That way if you want to make the swatch bigger you can without ripping it out and starting over.

I've used my scale on many color projects when I wasn't really sure if I'd have enough yarn. Visually I wouldn't believe it looked like enough, but when compared with my initial weights and calculations from my swatch, it worked out every time.

Good luck!

ffarff's picture

im not completely

im not completely understanding how this works.
and i dont have any scales either.
annoying.

mrossnyc's picture

You would need a digital

You would need a digital kitchen scale, that can weigh in small amounts (grams, for example).
A. Weigh your swatch in grams.
B. Calculate how many stitches are in your swatch.
C. Divide the weight of the swatch by the number of stitches in your swatch. This will tell you how many stitches per gram you are knitting.
D. Then weigh the yarn you want to use to determine the total weight (in grams).
E. Multiply the total weight (in D) by the number of stitches per gram (in C) to determine how many stitches you can have in your entire project.

Example:
A. Swatch weighs 20 grams.
B. I knit 20 rows with 24 stitches per row. Or, 480 stitches in the swatch.
C. 480 divided by 20 grams equals 24 stitches per gram.
D. I have 1000 grams of yarn to use.
E. 1000 grams multiplied by 24 stitches per gram equals a project with 24,000 stitches in it.

Now, you would also have to measure the width of your swatch to determine how many stitches and rows you get per cm or 2 cm, etc.

F. So, if the swatch had 3 stitches per cm and 2 rows per cm, and you wanted to project to be 150cm wide, then multiply 3 stitches by 150 cm to get 450 stitches in width.

If you only have enough yarn for 24,000 stitches (from E) then divide 450 (stitches per row) into 24,000 (total stitches) to determine how many rows you can have. In this case 24,000 divided by 450 would give you 53 rows. Based on the numbers in F, you would then have enough yarn for 53 rows, or a project that is just over 25cm high based on the numbers in F.

From there it's a little bit of trial and error to determine how wide and tall you can make your project based on your calculations. Either get more yarn or don't make it as wide, etc.

Hope that helps.

ronhuber's picture

I also do this especially

I also do this especially when knitting shawls and have no idea why I didn't think of it when writing my suggestion. I do feel it would be much more accurate if you have a good digital scale.

New York Built's picture

I'm slapping my forehead

I'm slapping my forehead with my hand that's holding the hammer.

What a great tip, Michael! I can weigh a finished object in the same yarn or similar and get a "Close Enough" guesstimate for another. It'll work no matter how many modifications I made to the guidelines I used, or if I decide to do stranded knitting or other color work. The scientific method works, again. Thank Darwin, I'm not a gorilla - just "Close Enough!"

'Your goal of life is not to arrive at the grave safely and well maintained; but rather to skid in full throttle coming to a screeching stop shouting, "Holy S**t! What a Ride!"'

mrossnyc's picture

Mark, please don't do any

Mark, please don't do any damage to your head, I enjoy your writing and seeing your projects too much.

So now that I've exposed my inner nerd, here's some more of my habits. I also weigh store-bought sweaters to get an idea of how much yarn I'll need keeping in mind that over the years some weight will be lost due to fuzz, pilling, etc. (NOTE: I don't take the scale to the store, I weigh the ones I've purchased).

I also have, in true Martha Stewart style, a sketch of my favorite sweaters with their measurements. I refer to this guide after washing them to make sure they are back to the same size and I also use these measurements or a combination of them when designing my own pattern for a sweater using the % system.

chipsir's picture

cast on 100 sts, mark the

cast on 100 sts, mark the last cast on stitch and knit one row. remove needle and un ravel to the marked st and mesure the length it took to knit the hundred stitches and then work out how many stitches to the inch

ffarff's picture

cheers!

cheers!

ronhuber's picture

If it is something like a

If it is something like a blanket or afghan you can do a swatch and calculate how many metres you used for how many sqaure cm. Simply multiply by the finished size and calculate how many metres you need and you can then calculate the number of balls you need with the information on the band.

ffarff's picture

thanks for that.

thanks for that.

murfpapa's picture

I usually consult with the

I usually consult with the project details to find the yards/meters needed and calculate it from that. I always buy an extra skein or two. That's why I have so many orphan balls floating around. Someday they'll end up in some type of stash buster scarf or afghan. IMHO, you can NEVER have too much yarn, lol

ffarff's picture

the problem is its a made up

the problem is its a made up design so i cant find out how much i need.

New York Built's picture

You've painted yourself into

You've painted yourself into the artist's corner. So, be an artist. You will need to solve this problem on it's own terms...and then move from each choice to the next. It's in your head, it's done when you say it's done, and it is your work. As said before, you could break it into chunks, and just multiply. But I would resolve, at least vaguely, where you want to end up. If your timeframe is the 4th of July, you might be forced to revise your decisions. IMHO.

'Your goal of life is not to arrive at the grave safely and well maintained; but rather to skid in full throttle coming to a screeching stop shouting, "Holy S**t! What a Ride!"'